Celtics begin western jaunt against Suns

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics will begin their second half on a western road trip, starting Wednesday night at US Airways Center where they face the Phoenix Suns.

The C's will play the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz on this sojourn. They've won their last two on the road, but have dropped two of three overall.

Boston had no representatives in the All-Star game, so the Celtics have had plenty of time to get over their 104-92 home loss to the depleted San Antonio Spurs one week ago.

Boston had won four of five coming into the last game before the All-Star break for both teams and had six players score in double figures, but it still wasn't enough.

"I thought our bench was better than our starters in the first half, but (the Spurs) put a lot of pressure on you," said Boston head coach Brad Stevens.

Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 16 points, followed by 15 and 10 rebounds from Kelly Olynyk and 15 points out of Kris Humphries. Brandon Bass, Jerryd Bayless and Jeff Green also cracked the 10-point mark.

Avery Bradley (ankle) and Vitor Faverani (knee) didn't make the trip.

The Celtics are getting the Suns at a good time as Phoenix needed overtime on Tuesday to defeat the Denver Nuggets, 112-107 at the Pepsi Center.

Gerald Green netted a career-high 36 points, including eight in overtime, and the Suns played some defense down the stretch.

"I think defensively we did a good job. We managed to take some tough shots and we got the rebounds. We did a better job on the boards. Guys really went after it in that overtime," said Suns coach Jeff Hornacek.

Goran Dragic tallied 21 points and 14 assists, Markieff Morris provided 13 points and 12 rebounds, P.J. Tucker added 13 points and 11 boards and Marcus Morris chipped in 10 for the Suns, who had dropped 3-of-4 heading into the All-Star break.

Despite the overtime game, only Dragic and Markieff Morris logged over 40 minutes.

The Suns start a four-game homestand Wednesday night with the Spurs, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves also on the docket.

The Celtics won both of last season's meetings with Phoenix, but have lost four of the last six contests in the desert. The two teams will meet in Boston on March 14.